Photo: Phil Dutton

I graduated from Princeton, but my daughter taught me what matters | Hartford Courant

I wrote a piece for the Hartford Courant connecting the recent college admission cheating scandal, education, expectations, privilege, disability, and Down syndrome in honor of World Down Syndrome Day, March 21st, 2019.
Photo: Phil Dutton
Here is the backstory (and below you will find the link to the published article). Last fall, I had a conversation with William about college. It was premature, I know. He’s ten. But it was a conversation about how he doesn’t need to go to a top-tier school. And in fact, about how it would be awesome if someone from a less advantaged background is able to go to that school instead. I have become increasingly aware of the fact that kids like ours–kids with white, married, affluent, educated parents–already have a tremendous advantage when it comes to their own education. And also increasingly aware of the dangers to those affluent, educated kids when life becomes a pressure cooker headed towards endless achievement. The scandals last week about parents bribing their children’s way into schools only underscored my own thoughts.

Our family has a legacy of college admissions at “prestigious” schools. We also have a child with Down syndrome who has provided a different way to view value, success, and purpose. Having Penny in our family has affected our view on “success”.

In the article I write, “Penny will not enroll at Yale or Princeton, but she has offered us a chance to begin a different family legacy. Penny, like many people with intellectual disabilities, does not move quickly or efficiently. She will never take the SAT. She struggles with many abstract concepts. And her presence in this overachieving family has served as an invitation to us all.”

Click here to read the full article.

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